5 Tips for Training Your Dog to Ride Nicely in the Car

Buckle up, Fido – it’s time for an adventure! But before hitting the open road with your canine companion, it’s essential to teach them proper car manners. 

Training Your Dog to Ride Nicely

Nothing spoils a scenic drive like a dog who can’t sit still, constantly whines, or turns your backseat into a barf-fest. 

Getting your puppy to ride politely takes some basic training – no need to go to puppy boot camp! You can transform them from an unruly mess into a model traveler in just a few short trips. With patience and these 5 simple tips, your dog will be chilling’ and thrilling’ on car rides in no time. 

From prepping them to love the car to positive reinforcement, read on to learn how to curb bad behavior and have a dog who jumps at the chance to go for a drive. Vroom vroom, let’s hit the road!

List of 5 Tips for Training Your Dog to Ride Nicely in the Car

5 Tips for Training Your Dog to Ride Nicely in the Car

Acclimate Them to the Car

Helping your dog become accustomed to the car is one of the most vital initial steps for training them to ride properly. Dogs unfamiliar with traveling by car may exhibit fear, nerves, or motion sickness when first taking trips. 

To start, get your pooch cozy just hanging out in the parked car. Let them investigate the back seat or cargo area while praising them and providing treats for calm conduct. You can also feed them a meal in the car so they associate it with something positive.

After your dog seems okay exploring the stationary vehicle, take them on short trips around the block. Keep these first outings under 5 minutes and finish on a high note before your dog shows any uneasy signs. Always compensate them with praise and their favorite treats at the end.  

Gradually increase the duration and frequency of these training trips. As your dog stays relaxed and enjoys the rides, you can start taking them to fun destinations like the park or pet supply store.

With time and consistency, you’ll notice your dog eagerly hopping in the car, ready for the next escapade! Going slowly and making the vehicle entertaining will get your dog acclimated to travel in no time.

Learn More: How to Get Dog Hair out of Car?

Utilize a Comfy Dog Car Seat/Carrier  

A high-grade dog car seat or carrier is one of the best tools for training dogs to ride calmly in vehicles. These products allow your dog to see out the window while feeling secure and not sliding around the backseat. The right dog car seat can significantly impact their comfort and travel manners.

When selecting a dog car seat, look for sturdy materials like metal frames and scratch-resistant fabrics. The centre should securely latch into your car’s seat belt system and have ropes that attach to your dog’s harness. This prevents them from jumping or falling while letting them lie down contentedly.

For smaller dogs, cushioned booster seats and carriers are safer choices than having them loose. Make sure to pick an appropriate size so your dog can stand up and turn around inside. Handles make it easy to get them in and out of the car. 

Before traveling, it’s best to introduce your dog to its new car seat at home. Reward them with treats for becoming accustomed to it. With a familiar bed or toys inside, they’ll see the carrier as a safe space for road trips in no time. Investing in the right dog car seat helps make trips stress-free for you and your furry buddy.

Practice Getting In and Out

Dogs get animated and tense while loading into the car and exiting after the ride. Creating a routine for calmly getting in and out of the vehicle will help your dog feel more secure.

When getting your dog into the car, use a command like “load up” so they learn to jump in on cue. Permanently attach their leash first for safety and control. Compensate them with a treat once they’re settled in their car seat. 

Similarly, use an “off” or “exit” order when you reach your destination. Have them wait until you walk around to connect the leash. Getting out of the car should only transpire once they are calm and sitting politely.

Stay consistent with the cues you use on each car trip. Over time, your dog will learn this protocol and wait patiently instead of bolting in or out of the vehicle. Rehearsing this straightforward procedure makes travel much less chaotic.

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Reward Tranquil Conduct

Positive reinforcement is vital to strengthen serene, relaxed behaviour during car rides. If your dog lies down, sits politely looking out the window, or remains calm, reward them with verbal praise and treats. 

This associates the car with a pleasant experience in their mind. 

You can also give your dog a special chew toy or long-lasting treat reserved for car trips. Having something enjoyable to focus on can prevent anxiety and carsickness. Just be sure to choose a toy they won’t choke on. 

If your dog tends to bark excitedly, whine, or pace in the car, disregard these behaviours – don’t give attention to unwanted actions. Keep redirecting their energy into settling down for more rewards. With consistency, your dog will opt to ride politely for yummy incentives.

Take It Slow at First 

When initiating a car training program with your dog, take the process gradually with short, successful trips. Don’t overdo it by driving for hours right away or forcing them into the car if they’re fearful. Set your dog up for a positive experience.

Start with very short rides of 5 minutes or less. Slowly work your way up to longer trips as your dog remains cosy. You want to finish the ride before they become anxious or car sick. Gradually acclimating them to the motions and sounds of the vehicle will build confidence.

Limit early trips to fun places like the park or hiking trail. Don’t start with vet visits or other stressful situations. The goal is to associate the car with adventure. Going slowly helps instil a habit of relishing rides. 


Training your dog for safe, tranquil car travel takes patience and consistency, but it opens up a world of new adventures to enjoy together. 

By acclimating your dog to the car, using a comfy restraint system, practicing polite loading routines, rewarding good conduct, and taking short trips, you’ll have a canine ready to hop in the back seat anytime eagerly. Just remember to bring the treats!

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